cw: hysterectomy/menstruation, gender dysphoria

“Just click this and we’ll have him on his way,” one of the polling station clerks says to the other. My heart flutters with a small burst of euphoria. Then she looks at me, “Oh, sorry, her way.”

“That’s okay, I prefer ‘his’ anyway,” I reply with a hopeful timbre.

Guess what didn’t happen for the rest of that conversation? That’s right, she used ‘she’ the whole time after. 

It’s some kind of poetically cruel irony to have half the country voting for or against Roe v Wade principles on the same day I was supposed to have my hysterectomy, on top of getting misgendered at the polls, while menstruating.

I don’t expect strangers to know right off the bat, but I literally told her that I prefer ‘he’ to ‘she’ and it just didn’t matter (simplified, I actually prefer ‘they’ and no longer like ‘he’ anymore, but it’s better than ‘she’). And the procedure was denied by insurance due to lack of “medically necessary” evidence. I couldn’t get a letter of gender dysphoria into the system fast enough so my surgeon’s office could appeal, and now I’m doomed to endure another however many months of pain and discomfort in my body until I can get it done.

I’ve lived my entire post-puberty life in debilitating pain, and I’ve ALWAYS not felt right in the body I have. I just didn’t have language for it until I came out as nonbinary at the age of 25. I’ve been through birth control after birth control, ultrasound after ultrasound. I’m always picture perfect on paper, but my lived experience has been hell. Can anyone say endometriosis?! I don’t see how the medical director of my Medicaid insurance company could look at my medical history (of constantly being in and out of office for issues) and determine I’m not a fit candidate for surgery. I don’t understand how the “peer-to-peer” meeting my surgeon had with the medical director didn’t produce positive results; did my surgeon not fight for me?

And now I have the very scary possible reality where I could live in a world where my body is not my own. In fact, much of the U.S. government is already claiming AFAB bodies as its property. I don’t want to keep trying new birth control (side effects are scary) when societal collapse is bound to happen in my lifetime (I won’t have access to it past a certain point). I want a simplistic, permanent way to take away all the pain, risk of pregnancy, and added dysphoria so that I can continue to make something of my life before shit really hits the fan.

I am constantly forced to reckon with how we live in a dystopia. It’s fucking exhausting, and I’m one of the luckier ones.

I wish I could say my mental health is staying strong but it’s not. The last several months have been so stressful living in this “limbo” space of “will it happen or not”. I’ve been officially cracking under pressure for a whole week (when I was told the surgery needed to be postponed), and now that today is finally here, I’ve got nothing left in me to give. I’m hurting badly. And I honestly don’t see it stopping anytime soon.

Hi friends! I hope to get back to writing regular articles soon, but in the meantime I have some events coming up that you might be interested in!

TONIGHT we have our Polyamory Panel Series session on Disability and Polyamory. This will be a fishbowl discussion to explore the dynamics of living a polyamorous life as a disabled person. From Covid, to boundaries and needs outside of the pandemic, to marriage equality, this topic is sure to have a lot of meat to chew on! Tonight, Monday April 18th at 7-8:30pm EST. Zoom link here! *this will be recorded and livestreamed*

Sunday April 24th at 2-5pm EST we have Queer^ Grief: Honoring the Beauty of Letting Go, Jam & Open Mic!

made with inShot and FlyerMaker apps

Queer^ grief is the grief we hold for having to live in a world that does not always accept, respect, or celebrate us for who we are as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The caret (^) is for those who are additionally queer because of any other marginalized identity that is at odds with normative culture (race/ethnicity, neurodivergence, ability status, etc.).

This is a two-part event. The first 45 min will be a brave space for us to name the pain we have been carrying and find solace in one another as we share in breakout rooms. After a 15 minute break, we will be welcomed back to the space with a grounding exercise. An open format for sharing art and creative expression will follow. People will be able to share whatever form of expression their grief has produced, or that has helped them process their grief (painting/drawing, music, poetry, short story, even comedy, etc.). In this way, not only will we be able to connect over grief and set resilience down, but also be able to connect over the beauty that is free expression, that comes from that pain. More details and registration here!

*this event is free with a suggested donation of $5-35 for either segment, or $10-50 for both; registration required*

Looking forward to being in community with you!